8 Tips For Running A Successful Ministry on A Limited Budget
One of the trickiest things about running your ministry is the budget.
Because let’s be real: None of us have the budget of our dreams! Sure, we can dream big like we talked about last month, but the reality is you just don’t always have the budget of your dreams.
- Maybe the dream is to build a better student ministry at your church. But the reality of your budget will only allow you to spruce up the space you have.
- Maybe the dream is to host a community outreach carnival full of games and events. But the reality of your budget makes renting inflatable activities and games a stretch.
- Maybe the dream is to give everyone on your staff a small raise this year. But the reality of your budget won’t let that pan out.
The truth is we all have big dreams for our ministries. But we also all have limited budgets. But that doesn’t mean we need to give up. The reality is you can be successful on a limited budget. You just have to give it some thought!
We consulted our Clover Give budget experts to give you some tips and tricks on running a successful ministry on a limited budget.
Tip 1: Ask For Administrative Help
There’s no shame in asking for help! If budgeting isn’t your strong suit, don’t try to make the numbers work by yourself. Recruit someone on your staff who loves all things spreadsheets, details, numbers, and logistics to help you work with the budget you currently have. As they gain visibility on what’s happening with your budget, they can help you track your spending, manage your expenses, and plan for things you want to do in the future.
Having somebody to watch your budget will save you the stress of trying to make it work all on your own.
Tip 2: Keep Tabs on Your Budget
Once you’ve created a budget, keep tabs on it. Check in throughout the planning year to see if you’re coming in over or under budget. This will let you know if you need to make changes as you go.
- Maybe you’ll end up with a few unexpected extra dollars that will allow you to do a little more dreaming this year.
- Or maybe you’ll find you’re cutting it too close and realize you need to adjust some plans to avoid going over budget.
Checking in will help ensure that you stay on track and on budget!
Tip 3: Create Some Deadlines
Don’t procrastinate! One of the quickest ways to go over budget is to find yourself with an unexpected late fee. Avoid unnecessary spending by making sure you’ve set deadlines for payments throughout the year. Think through the details of your budget:
- Which items might require payments by a certain time?
- Which might require down payments?
- What bills or expenses have late fees?
Make sure those deadlines get on a calendar somewhere so they aren’t missed. Having them listed out will help you avoid the headache of missed payments and late fees when it comes to your budget.
Tip 4: Plan Early
Don’t wait until the month of a special event to start planning or thinking about your budget. Plan early! Getting ahead of the game when it comes to your spending is especially important on a limited budget.
Plan ahead for the important things you want to accomplish this upcoming year. It will leave room for you to know if more funds need to be raised, special events need to be postponed, or fundraising efforts needs to be emphasized to help you get across the finish line.
Tip 5: Fundraise
One of the best ways you can pull off a successful year on a limited budget is to simply schedule some fundraisers. After all, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned fundraiser? So many congregations have people who want to help, but they simple don’t know exactly what the need is. Hosting a fundraiser is a way to put those financial needs in front of your people and give them a chance to give.
Whether you host a dinner for a special fund in your church, a bake sale for your children’s ministry, or a car wash for a student summer camp, fundraising is a great option to fill in the gaps in your budget.
Tip 6: Partner With Others
- Do you have community members who might be willing to sponsor an event or ministry at your church?
- Do you know volunteers who will donate their time and resources to make it happen?
- Do you know members of your congregation who might be able to help in other ways?
Ask them! Partner with your people to fill in the gaps in your budget by asking people to give their time, resources, or talents. Sometimes you can save money simply by asking for a little help from your people. Just don’t forget to thank them when you do!
Tip 7: Cast Vision For Giving
An increase in monthly giving at your church will certainly help increase a limited budget.
One of the best ways to increase the gifts from your congregation is to cast the right vision. Remember, you’re not just asking for money: you’re casting a vision for what you see ahead for your ministry and church as a whole. Their financial support will help you see your vision come to life. So focus on casting a vision they can get behind with their giving!
**(Hint: Clover Give makes giving easy for your people! Check it out here).
Tip 8: Trust God With Your Budget
At the end of the day, no matter how small your budget may be, remember that God is bigger! Trust Him with the money you have and the dreams of what you want to do with it. With His leading, you can trust that your ministry will grow and thrive no matter how limited your budget might be!
If you're ready for a robust giving platform, get a free demo of Clover Give. It allows your donors to support your work in a way that works for them with online, text-to-give, kiosks, pledges, and in-person gifts.